GETAFE, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 04: Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid celebrates after Ramos scoring Real's opening goal against Getafe during the La Liga match between Getafe and Real Madrid at Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium on February 4, 2012 in Getafe, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Real Madrid earned their three points on a very cold and windy night. The pitch was not in a very good shape either, but the team played through everything and won the game with an early goal by Sergio Ramos off a corner-kick.
Coentrao and Lass were the only changes from last game's starting XI, and both of them completed an average game. Pepe and Sergio Ramos stopped Getafe's strikers a lot and were probably the best players on the field. Cristiano, Özil, Kaka and Benzema didn't shine, although they had good scoring opportunities that gave Madrid a bigger margin on the scoreboard.
Getafe had the first chance to score after a cross from the right wing. Barrada's shot went above the post and Real Madrid proceeded to defend their post better.
In the 18th minute, Sergio Ramos scored after a good corner-kick from Mesut Özil. The Spanish defender jumped very high and placed the ball where Moyá couldn't reach it. To score the first goal this early in a very difficult stadium always helps, and Real Madrid didn't have to push for the second goal for the rest of the match--Getafe now needed to score in order to get some points.
This allowed Real Madrid to play with that dangerous counter-attacking mindset. The team had most of the possession and Casillas didn't have to stop any dangerous shots coming his way. The first half concluded with that 0-1 result in the scoreboard and the players headed to the locker room very quickly because of the cold temperatures.
After the match was resumed, Getafe had better control of Real Madrid. They did not create many good chances but they did prevent Real Madrid from getting close to Moyá's goal, so that the game still remained in their reach. Özil and Kaka were not combining well and Benzema didn't score during his only chance of the 90 minute game. It was then that Mourinho started to move the bench.
Callejón entered the game for Kaka and that substitution moved Özil to the center. It is not that Kaka played badly, but he still needs to play with more consistency, especially now that he can rest one full week between games. Callejón provided that intensity he is known for and Getafe had a tougher time moving the ball around.
Higuaín entered the game shortly after for Benzema. The Argentinian player had a good chance to score with his left foot but Moyá send the ball to a corner-kick. Real Madrid probably deserved the second goal but the players were inaccurate in the final moments and Moyá had a very decent game.
Referee Ayza Gámez could have called a penalty when Pepe touched the ball with his hand inside the box, but he likely didn't see it. Both teams were frustrated because they played very sloppily and couldn't get to the rival's goal. Granero joined the field for Özil with a couple of minutes left to play.
Getafe even had a corner-kick with his goalkeeper in Madrid's box, but Real Madrid's defense cleared the danger and Ayza Gámez ended the game.
The team didn't play super well, but this is the kind of game that you need to win whether you are at your best or not. They need to keep winning. Now Real Madrid will receive Levante in the Santiago Bernabéu next Sunday in the hopes of keeping that seven-point Liga lead against Barcelona (assuming Guardiola's team wins against Real Sociedad this fixture and at Osasuna's stadium next weekend).
Who was the Man of the Match?
Sergio Ramos (113 votes)
Alonso (17 votes)
Pepe (4 votes)
Other (I'll tell you in the comments) (30 votes)
164 total votes